The Supreme Court this morning denied an original writ petition — filed two weeks ago — that sought to block a $75 million state contribution to what Governor Gavin Newsom described as a “statewide public-private partnership [that] will provide financial support to undocumented immigrants impacted by COVID-19.” The money, the Governor said, is to be “dispersed through a community-based model of regional nonprofits with expertise and experience serving undocumented communities.” The petition, in Benitez v. Newsom, claimed such use of state money violates a bar against “the appropriation of public funds for the benefit of organizations not within the exclusive management and control of the State.”
We haven’t seen the court’s order yet, but the online docket indicates the writ petition was summarily denied without comment. That would be in contrast with Monday’s denial of another petition on what could be called the court’s “pandemic docket.” The court denied that other petition, which asked for release of enough detainees in county jails and juvenile facilities to prevent the spread of COVID-19, in a detailed order instructing that relief could be sought in superior courts on a county-by-county basis.
The Benitez docket also reports that Justice Goodwin Liu was recused.
[Update: A state trial court judge yesterday denied a temporary restraining order in a different challenge to the emergency aid, a challenge made on federal law grounds. See Justin Kloczko’s report in the Daily Journal — “LA judge OKs $75M in state funds to those in the country illegally.”]
[Second update: The order is here. It is in fact a one-sentence, no-explanation, summary denial.]